When I was an undergraduate, I did a study abroad at Oxford University for two trimesters. One thing I absolutely loved was the tutorial system.
Quick Summary of the Tutorial System
You get a massive reading list. Each week you read a lot and write a paper. Then, in a one-on-one, you orally present that paper to your tutor, and the tutor grills you interupting you to ask for clarification, question you about aspects of the reading, and raise objections.
My writing drastically improved that year. It helped with thinking quickly on your feet, and there was no where to hide. You had to know the reading backwards and forwards. It’s an excellent way to learn.
Independent Studies at Home
Whenever a student asks for an independent study, we do it this way.
This summer a student asked if I would be willing to do an independent study over the summer, and we’ve been having our meetings on Skype.
We’re having our last meeting today. I think things have gone well. At least, I’ve been enjoying it. After the student submits the final paper, and I completely wrap things up, I’m going to solicit feedback from the student. I’ll report back here when I get it.
(Posted from my phone)